Recently Omar Ha-Redeye and Simon Borys (that’s me) (both contributors to this blog) were interviewed by Michael McKiernan for Articling How To, an article in the Canadian Lawyer4Students magazine. In it, Michael discusses how students can set themselves up for an articling position in the midst of this present articling crisis.
He talks about doing something to set yourself apart from the crowd by “thinking small” (Omar’s topic), “taking the initiative”, “knowing your options”, “embracing old technology”, and “embracing new technology” (my topic).
In terms of “thinking small”, Michael wrote:
Bay Street firms run their articling programs like a well-oiled machine and provide a large chunk of the available spots, so it’s no surprise that they’re front of mind for law school career counsellors, says Toronto lawyer Omar Ha-Redeye. But the 2011 Ontario call advises more students to think small. “I think for people who are going into litigation, smaller firms are better options. I was in court more than anybody I know. I was really thrown into the mix and was on my feet the whole time,” he says.
In terms of embracing new technology, Michael wrote:
In a competitive articling environment, you have to make yourself stand out. And the earlier, the better, according to Simon Borys, a second-year law student at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., who has put a great deal of effort into building his online profile. “Everyone comes to the table with law degrees, so you have to demonstrate to future employers what you bring in addition. Online activities are a great way to showcase that,” he says.
Borys highlights his own history as a police officer on his blog, which he uses as a platform to link up with fellow students, senior practitioners, and potential future employers. He’s also active on Twitter and participates in online legal discussion groups. And it’s paid dividends, because he’s already secured a summer position at a criminal law firm, with a strong chance to return to complete his articles. “It’s been very well received and I’ve made lots of connections,” says Borys.
All of the things Michael discusses in this article are highly relevant to students currently seeking articling, especially considering the present scarcity of articling jobs. It’s not enough in this day and age to come to the job market with just a law degree and your hand out and expect that someone will give you a job. You don’t have to use new technology, like I do, but you have to do something! Read Michael’s article and think about what might work for you.
Simon Borys is a law student at Queen’s University in Kingston. He is also a former police officer and an an aspiring criminal lawyer. His Blog, Simon Says, focuses on dispelling policing myths and demystifying the law.
Confidentiality Notices in emails from law students make me roll my eyes. Except this one:
“POSSIBLY” CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This email communication may or may not contain private, confidential, or legally privileged information, depending on what the author is saying and how he feels like that day. Usually, it will be intended for the sole use of the designated recipient(s); however, at times, you will be expected to guess who he actually wants this email going to. If you are not the intended recipient, please undertake an existential inquiry into the spirit of mankind and human relation, and let this inform your decision about whether the email is intended for you. Do not act hastily and delete it. You may want to inform the author of any fruits of your existential search into the human condition.
Shout out to NC!
The following was sent to us by Western Law admin staff. Posted because it may be of interest to Ontario law students.
To encourage diversity and the attainment of equity in legal education and practice, the Law Society of Upper Canada has established an EDUCATION EQUITY AWARD funded by LexisNexis Canada Inc.
To be eligible, a student must satisfy the following:
- be a member of a visible minority group, an Aboriginal person, or a person with a disability or a gay or lesbian student;
- be enrolled in either the second or third year of a JD program at a law school in Ontario;
- be in good standing at the law school (ie: maintaining a passing grades in each law school course).
The recipient(s) will be chosen primarily on financial need with due consideration being given to academic achievement and/or devotion and commitment to community and/or university service.
Contact your law school administration, as each school may have its own application procedure. The deadline for submitting an application at Western is Wednesday, April 1, 2009. Deadlines at other schools may vary.
A little more information can be found on Osgoode’s site here.